The Exmoor Resource Centre

The entrance to the Resource Centre
At the official opening of the Resource Centre, March 2015
John Burgess
Volunteers helping clean the Hope L. Bourne collection
Rachel Thomas
Some of the recently-bought library books

You’ll find a warm welcome at The Exmoor Resource Centre, located at our offices in Dulverton.  We are open between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday and always pleased to meet members and visitors alike.  Please note we are closed on Bank Holidays.

General Information

We display material on current issues and campaigns for the conservation of Exmoor National Park, and literature to help people enjoy and understand its special qualities.  There is also information about our walks programme, competitions, membership and other events organised by ourselves and our partners.

The Archives

Our archives contain documents relating to the history of the National Park for over 60 years.  These include reports, letters, slides, maps, pamphlets and other items, all of which are accessible to the general public (including schoolchildren) and academics.

In 2014 the Society began its project Unlocking Exmoor’s Heritage. As part of this, thousands of archive items were catalogued, many for the first time. The archive catalogue and information on how to use it can be found here.

There is a regular display of material from the archives, with changing  themes from woodlands to wildlife, industry to the infamous!

For detailed enquiries, please contact Dr Helen Blackman, Outreach Archivist (exmoorsocietyarchivist@gmail.com).

The Reference Library

Do come and browse our reference library – it offers one of the best collections of books about Exmoor contained in one place. If you’re interested in historical events we have information on the Lynmouth flood; the second World War as it affected Exmoor; smugglers and even a book on Somerset privvies. We have texts on archaeology by Grinsell, Eardley-Wilmot and Wilson-North. For wildlife enthusiasts we have information on red deer; Exmoor ponies; birds and butterflies. If it’s fiction you’re interested in we have over 20 different editions of Blackmore’s classic Lorna Doone as well as some of his lesser-known works. We have a collection of Henry Williamson novels and Whyte-Melville’s swashbuckling Katerfelto.

The Exmoor Review is digitised from 1959 to the present and contains a plethora of articles on many aspects of Exmoor – its wildlife; landscape and history. This is available in the Resource Centre or if you are a member of the Society we will send you digital back copies on request. We hold some other unusual Exmoor journals such as the Lyn Valley News; Dulverton and Brushford Magazine and the Journal of the West Somerset Village History Society. Come and browse through the Microstudies and find out about churches and chapels; ships and harbours; murder and mystery and the fish of Exmoor.

The Library has been built up over decades, mainly through kind donations from members. In 2014 it was decided to change from a lending library to a reference-only library. This has enabled us to weed out duplicate copies of books. We have sold these second hand and the money has been set aside to buy new books for the library to ensure that it stays up to date and as comprehensive as we can manage. Pictured above is a selection of the books we have been able to obtain in this way.

If you have any Exmoor books which you would like to donate, we would be very happy to receive them. If we do not have them in the library we will add them to our collection. If we already have them we will sell them in the Society’s shop and put the money raised towards new books and the running of the library.

Our Facilities

Workspace is available for members of the public and researchers, offering facilities for laptops, access to the material in our archives and free WiFi.

Retail Shop

We offer a small selection of books, cards, notelets, mounted photographs, etc. with an Exmoor theme, current and back  copies of The Exmoor Review,  and second-hand books.